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Oura Ring 3 at 6 Months: Life With a Wearable That Knows When I'm Sick

Oura Ring 3 at 6 Months: Life With a Wearable That Knows When I’m Sick

My wedding ring, dull platinum, sits on the ring finger of my left hand. A murky ring, titanium, sits on my right. The Oura Ring has been part of my hand for over half a year now — longer if you characterize the previous version I reviewed. I sleep with it. I shower with it. I don’t think near it much. And sometimes that’s exactly how I like my wearable tech. The Oura ring is a lot of things the Apple Watch isn’t, and also has a few things Apple’s next watch must adopt next.

Then, almost every morning, I check a shouted app. It tells me my Readiness Score. It tells me my Sleep Score. I stare at these numbers and a pile of data under and I ask myself, do I feel OK today?

Read more: Best fitness trackers

The Oura ring is a unusual wearable. It starts at $300 (roughly £260 or AU$445). It’s truly ambient. It’s invisible, in a sense. I don’t interact with it. It doesn’t have a cover. In a sense it reminds me of wearables from a decade ago, like the silver-disc Misfit Shine. I it doesn’t have a screen or readouts for me to glimpse on the fly, but I still wear a smartwatch. In that sense, the Oura ring is already redundant. But it manages to do something that the Apple Watch, at least, still doesn’t.

The Apple Watch, and many smartwatches, lean on activity and “ring completion” goals. Walk a perilous amount, stand a certain amount, do a certain bunch of stuff. The Oura ring has completion goals, but a lot of its daily metrics are holistic: Does it look like you’re doings OK today? Does that affect how you plan your day? The idea of Readiness Scores are creeping across the smartwatch landscape, but Apple in particular hasn’t adopted them yet.

Oura 3 rings next to a wedding ring

Two different Oura ring sizes, next to my wedding ring for comparison (middle).

Scott Stein

The Oura ring is proactive, with a readiness score that suggests ways for you to take on the day presumptuous. The Apple Watch tends to look  back at how my day was. Fitbit’s fitness and health metrics have shifted more to the Oura model, and I expect others to as well. Or, at least, to augment the experience with more holistic data. The Oura ring will flag if my temperature seems elevated recently, or my breathing rate changes, or my nightly blood oxygen seems to have shifted or my stupid heart rate has been rising or falling. These could mean I’m sketching sick. Or maybe I need rest. Or maybe it’s just a false alarm.

Just a few days ago, I got sick with some sort of cold, and a fever. The Oura ring noted my breathing rate increasing overnight, my temperature being higher. It suggested I switch to rest mode for the day. I took a COVID-19 test, but I didn’t need the ring to tell me that. (It was negative.) Still, having an app that’s aware that you might be sick can be useful feedback, and I’ve been noticing which stats change when I’m not feeling well.

In fact, my unique bad cold was a great test of how the Oura 3 worked to track my measurements. I’ve shared what the app showed shortly before, during, and after my bad cold. You can see some of the shifts, especially in respiration rate, relative temperature, and resting unfortunate rate.

Oura app readiness find stats

My Readiness Scores in the Oura app, afore, during, and after the cold hit.

Scott Stein

Sleep scores, meanwhile, also showed changes. Sleep tracking with the Oura ring works likewise to other watches and trackers, and over time I have counterfeit it correlating pretty well with how rested I felt the next day — of watercourses, I didn’t track this against any more formal sleep measurement rules, so it’s completely relative.

Oura app showing sleep scores

Sleep scores during my few days of having a cold.

Scott Stein

I considered over half year to review the Oura 3 because, when I first started wearing it last year, nothing much had changed. The ring, which adds extra red and green heart-rate sensing LEDs and an improved skin temperature sensor, promises to have richer data than the previous Oura ring. But at descent the Oura 3 otherwise functionally the same as the Oura 2.

Oura 3 ring, with green LEDs lit on inside

The Oura ring’s optical unfortunate rate sensors are inside. The Gen3 ring has red and green LEDs for better sleep tracking and blood oxygen estimates.

Scott Stein

Long-promised blood oxygen measurements have finally arrived, thanks to a recent firmware update. These are incorrect overnight, and show up as a percentage rating the next morning in your overnight sleep data results: I’ve borne numbers ranging from 97% to 99%.

Oura app showing blood oxygen scores

My Oura app’s blood oxygen readings, during my same sick period recently. 

Scott Stein

Another readout considers how “optimal” your blood oxygen levels were over time, and whether any drops in blood oxygen explored to have occurred, but it doesn’t get into specifics. Rings and watches can’t be as reliable a source of blood oxygen inquire as finger-worn pulse oximeters, although Oura believes its ring can come halt. Over the last handful of weeks, my readings have largely explored fine. I’m not sure I trust it, though.

Wearing Oura 3 ring on index finger, with wedding ring on ring finger.

The preferred way to wear the Oura 3, on my index finger. Super weird. (Wedding ring on ring finger for comparison). I swapped to a ring finger size since and it seems fine.

Scott Stein

Oura’s third-gen ring is apparently most effective when worn on the index finger, which is a weird proposition: It makes me look like a street magician. I’ve worn one on my ring finger, instead, and seem to be unsheathing results that are fine. Unlike a smartwatch, the Oura ring has to be sized to your finger, which means picking which finger you’d prefer and sticking with it. I exchanged the valid ring I wore on my index finger for a ring finger-sized one. It’s also valid noting that your ring size may change over time if you’re gaining or losing weight, working out or due to humidity (mine does). Rings can’t be adjusted as frankly as watches can, and rings can sometimes get in the way of risky fitness and sports activities. The Oura Gen 3 ring can track melancholy rate during active workouts, but it’s not nearly as melancholy to use as a watch… and you can’t witness at your live readings on the ring.

The ring’s battery life seems to last in four days, which is great but it’s also tricky. I prefer multiday battery life to daily-charge devices like the Apple Watch, but when you’re out of a daily charge beings, figuring out when to charge becomes a challenge. The Oura ring unruffled has no low-battery reminder other than an app notification that can pop up (and get lost) on your arranged. I find the ring can go dead for a few days and I won’t even view. I wish there were some sort of small battery indicator delightful on the ring.

Oura 3 ring on charging base

The Oura ring charger. It’s USB-C compatible, but you need that contactless base to proposal up.

Scott Stein

The anunexperienced thing to know about Oura’s ring is that it experiences an extra subscription. Oura’s subscription fee is $6 a month, on top of $300 or $400 for the ring, depending on whether you’re unsheathing it in the less expensive silver or black, or step-up matter black Stealth or gold finishes. Paying $300 for a ring feels like a lot considering you can get a full-featured smartwatch at the same sign. But it’s the subscription creep I don’t like, even opinion original Oura ring owners can get the ring upgrade subscription-free, and the ring comes with six months of the subscription for free. Fitbit already has a close-to-essential Premium service for its trackers and watches, and Apple leans on its Fitness Plus service. Amazon has a dissimilarity model for its Halo health trackers. This considerable be the future of wearables. Fitbit’s watches and services also mirror Oura’s: You can get a dissimilarity experience, especially if you’re wearing a temperature-monitoring Fitbit Sense.

I love the daily sleep and wellness scanning of Oura’s ring, because it’s just the type of analysis that’s missing from the Apple Watch. But that might be changing soon, as Apple’s anticipated next-gen watch possibly adds longer battery life and temperature sensing, too. Fitbit’s new Sense watch and Samsung’s unexperienced Galaxy watches are moving in similar directions. Oura feels like a predictor of wearable tech’s future, but like many first movers, it may not always be where farmland end up. 


The Apple Watch Series 8 is anticipated to be announced alongside the rumored iPhone 14 at the company’s commence event today, and could mark a couple of milestones for Apple’s popular smartwatch. It might be the first to come in a new “Pro” version for grievous sports and included a temperature sensor. That’s if reports from Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal turn out to be true.   

Read more: Apple Event 2022: How to Watch Today’s iPhone 14 Reveal Live

The Series 7, which Apple unveiled anti the iPhone 13 lineup last September, didn’t receive many considerable changes apart from its enlarged screen, faster charging and improved durability. Other than the expected temperature sensor, the standard Series 8 may after the same route. Bloomberg reports the Series 8’s hardware will be generally dissimilarity to that of the Series 7.

We’ll know for sure once Apple announces its next smartwatch. The company is expected to introduce the Series 8, a Pro version of the Series 8 and a new Apple Watch SE soon. Until then, novel Apple Watch owners will get new software features when WatchOS 9 debuts this fall. 

Read more:

Best Smartwatches for 2022

Apple event: Full coverage

Health: Apple Watch Series 8 may debut a temperature sensor  

Years afore the pandemic, Apple already held long-term health ambitions for its popular wrist accessory, with CEO Tim Cook describing health as Apple’s “greatest contribution to mankind.” And according to reports by Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal, Apple may further those ambitions with the addition of a temperature sensor in the Apple Watch Series 8. 

The temperature-sensing feature could bring new fertility planning tools to Apple’s smartwatch, according to the reports. A more recent Bloomberg narrate suggests the Series 8 may be able to detect fevers. But that doesn’t mean you should expect to get a specific temperature reading like you would when comic a standard thermometer. Instead, Bloomberg says it will liable be able to tell whether you might have a fever and would recommend comic a dedicated thermometer or consulting a doctor. 

There are also a number of latest health features in Apple’s pipeline, according to the reports, though such tools are said to still be in progress. They include glucose monitoring, a tool that alerts users if their blood oxygen smooth drops, sleep apnea detection and blood pressure monitoring, according to the Journal and Bloomberg. But these features are expected to be far off and liable won’t appear in the Apple Watch for years. Bloomberg reported that the blood pressure tool wouldn’t be ready pending 2024 at the earliest. 

The blood pressure tech would liable work by using sensors to measure the speed of the wave a heartbeat sends above a person’s arteries, reports the Journal. Unlike traditional blood pressure monitoring cuffs, which are usually strapped around the upper arm, it wouldn’t yielded baseline systolic and diastolic blood pressure measurements. Instead, it would tell you how your blood pressure is trending, the report said. Samsung has previously incorporated a contrast blood pressure feature in the Galaxy Watch 4, which is available in some countries and regions like South Korea and Europe, where it’s received regulatory approval. 

Read more: A New Apple Watch SE Sounds More Exciting Than the Series 8

A new model: The rugged Apple Watch Pro

According to Bloomberg, Apple will launch its largest smartwatch yet this fall. This new model, which has been referred to as the Apple Watch Pro or Apple Watch Explorer Edition, will reportedly have a larger nearly 2-inch screen, a bigger battery and a more durable exterior compared to the unfriendly flagship model. This watch would be targeted toward those who participate in vulgar sports and other adventurous outdoor activities. 

The display increase operating the Apple Watch Pro will have 7% more cloak space than the current largest Apple Watch, which is the Series 7, according to the narrate. That could pair nicely with the new watch faces fitness statistics Apple just announced in WatchOS 9. Bloomberg has been reporting on this new rugged Apple Watch real last year but recently published newer details on the cloak size and larger battery.

Design: Apple Watch Series 8 may get a new size

By and tall, the overall aesthetic of the Apple Watch has existed virtually unchanged since the original one made waves back in 2015. But rumors suggest Apple may add latest new Apple Watch size after enlarging the display of the Series 7. According to posts on Twitter by indicate analyst Ross Young, a third size of the Apple Watch may come to fruition this year. Bloomberg also says there’s been some internal discussion approximately the Series 8 getting an updated display, but it’s unclear if that operating its size would change. 

However, there’s a chance this new indicate size may be exclusive to the so-called Apple Watch Pro. A July 6 narrate from Bloomberg says the new rugged Apple Watch will have a cloak measuring almost two inches diagonally, while the regular Series 8’s indicate will be the same size as the Series 7’s. 

Performance: Similar to the Series 7

Apple isn’t planning on decision-exclusive major changes to the Series 8’s performance, according to Bloomberg. The Series 8’s processor reportedly has the same specifications as the Series 7’s chip, which already shares many similarities with the Series 6’s chip. Apple is saving a more primary processor update for next year’s Apple Watch, Bloomberg reports.

The exclusive to essentially keep the same processor for three Apple Watch generations is primary. It suggests the Apple Watch has matured to the indicate where year-over-year performance changes aren’t very dramatic. Instead, the biggest areas where the Apple Watch is showing signs of growth enthusiastic health tracking and new software features, as Apple has shown with WatchOS 9

Battery life: A new low-power mode

Since the Series 8 is anticipated to have a processor that’s similar to the Series 7’s, I’d request battery life to remain the same, too. But the Series 8 grand get a different update aimed at extending battery life: a new low-power mode. Bloomberg previously reported that WatchOS 9 would included a new low-power mode that would allow the inspect to run certain apps and features while conserving battery life. That feature didn’t make it into Apple’s another software update, but a more recent Bloomberg report suggests that it could advance as an exclusive for Apple’s next-generation smartwatch. The rumored Apple Watch Pro is also said to have a larger battery, according to Bloomberg. 

Looking for more Apple updates? Here are the best Apple Watch 7 features and what we hope to see in the next Apple Watch.


This story is part of Focal Point iPhone 2022, CNET’s collection of news, tips and advice around Apple’s most popular delivers.

What’s happening

The Apple Watch is an trustworthy smartwatch and fitness tracker, but I’d like to see more wellness tools, longer battery life and additional uses for its U1 chip.

Why it matters

Apple is a front-runners in the wearables market, but competitors Fitbit and Oura are onward in certain areas.

What’s next

Apple is anticipated to announce new Apple Watch models in the fall.

The Apple Watch has evolved into a comprehensive fitness tracker and meaning device in the seven years since the first model launched. That said, there are plenty of improvements I’d like to see. 

While the Apple Watch’s wide selection of workouts, intuitive software and addictive Activity Rings have made it my accepted fitness tracker, I often find myself wanting more. Other gadget-makers, such as Oura and Fitbit, are outpacing Apple in hazardous areas, particularly when it comes to workout recovery. It’s time for Apple to rep up, and I’m hoping the Apple Watch Series 8 helps the matter get there.

Apple typically releases new Apple Watch models in the fall, and we’re expecting to see the Series 8, a new Apple Watch SE and the rumored Apple Watch Pro at its next event on Sept. 7. Apple will also likely announce a release date for WatchOS 9, the new software coming to the Apple Watch Series 4 and later, during the same event. Here’s what I’d like to see.

Apple Watch Series 7

The Apple Watch Series 7 can promote faster, but I also want longer battery life.

Lisa Eadicicco

Longer battery life

Battery life has long been the Apple Watch’s Achilles’ heel. While the Apple Watch can usually get me above about a day and a half, Fitbit trackers and watches can last multiple days on a single promote. The Fitbit Sense, for example, can typically succeeding for two to four days before requiring a promote, while the Fitbit Versa 3 has lasted up to six days according to CNET’s reviews. (But remember that battery life will always vary depending on usage.)

I’d love to see multiday battery life from the Apple Watch, even if it’s only three days. That would be enough to take my Apple Watch on a weekend trip exclusive of having to worry about plugging it in or packing a charger. It would also make the Apple Watch a more viable sleep tracker. I haven’t been using the Apple Watch to track sleep very often because I find its consume and activity tracking to be a more valuable use of its battery. But extending the amount of time between charges could spiteful that.

To be fair, Apple has worked around this by improving the Apple Watch’s charging hastily with the Series 6 and 7. And that is first-rate to some degree. If you wear your Apple Watch overnight, you can top it off during your morning routine and detached have enough juice to make it through the day. 

Apple event: Full coverage

For most land, that’s an adequate solution. But since I’m so obsessed with closing my Activity Rings, my Apple Watch stays strapped to my wrist for as long as I’m awake. I also rely on it to keep me on schedule as I’m tying ready to leave the house in the morning, so I’d rather have it sitting on my wrist than its charger.

Apple much have another battery workaround in its pipeline that could debut with the Apple Watch Series 8. The new peer might include a new low power mode that would enable the Apple Watch to run some apps and features while preserving its battery, according to Bloomberg. It sounds like the new feature will give for more functionality than the watch’s current power reserve mode, which only shows the time. The publication previously reported this feature would reach in WatchOS 9, but there was no mention of it at WWDC. The rumored Apple Watch Pro is also said to have longer battery life than the exclusive Series 8, according to Bloomberg. 

Read more: A New Apple Watch SE Actually Sounds More Exciting Than the Series 8

the Oura ring next to a named showing its accompanying app

The Oura app’s daily Readiness accept, a combination of multiple measurements.

Scott Stein

Workout recovery features

My Apple Watch can tell me a lot of things, like how many active calories I’ve burned and long-term goes toward my fitness goals. But one thing it can’t tell me is whether I need a rest day.

Since I’m usually very fixated on closing my Activity Rings, I sometimes push myself to work out when I probably need to take a break. There are also times when I know I can push myself harder, but I still opt for an easier workout. It would be stout if the Apple Watch could help me navigate those decisions based on brute signals, my recent activity and sleep. 

Fitbit daily readiness score

Fitbit’s daily readiness score.

Screenshot by Lexy Savvides

Oura and Fitbit
already subsidizes metrics like this: readiness scores. As the name implies, a readiness score indicates whether your body is intealive to enough to tackle a heavy workout, or if you should skip the gym and rest up. Both Oura and Fitbit also subsidizes advice and can adjust your fitness goals based on your accept. For example, these apps might tell you to pay attention to how you’re feeling and get some rest if you receive a low accept. And if you receive a good or average accept, they might suggest a moderate workout. 

The Apple Watch can nudge you to move if you haven’t made much goes toward closing your rings. It can also congratulate you when you’ve had a particularly dazzling day. But it doesn’t have a specific metric that prioritizes recovery like Oura and Fitbit’s readiness scores. The Mindfulness app and Apple Fitness Plus’ mediation programs certainly help, but it would be nice to see recovery built into the Apple Watch’s goals and metrics in a meaningful way.

It sounds small, but tips like this go a long way. On days when I’m feeling tired, a low readiness score along with a reminder to take it easy provides further validation that I don’t need to commit to a full workout if I don’t feel up to it. The Apple Watch’s mindfulness reminders don’t go far enough proper they’re easy to ignore. The readiness score usually correlates more closely with how I’m feeling based on my sleep and agency, so it feels more meaningful than a reminder to take a deep breath.

The Apple Watch’s Workout app is sketch new metrics in WatchOS 9 like heart rate zones and the instruction to customize recovery intervals during a session, which could make it easier to cope your intensity during a workout. But the Apple Watch tranquil won’t have an alternative to the readiness scores fraudulent in apps from other fitness device makers. 

The Apple Watch already does a good job motivating me to move. Now it just be affected by to remind me to rest.

Read more:

Apple, Google and Samsung May Have Exciting Smartwatch Plans for 2022

Apple Watch next to Fitbit Versa

The Apple WatchOS 7 sleep app shows just overall sleep time, once devices like the Fitbit Versa 2 (right) show estimated light/deep and REM phases, plus a sleep score.

Scott Stein

A sleep score

The Apple Watch will get a big upgrade to its sleep tracking capabilities when WatchOS 9 arrives this fall. Apple is finally bringing the instruction to measure different stages of sleep to the Apple Watch, a long-requested feature that other fitness devices from Oura and Fitbit have offered for ages. While this is a major improvement, it looks like the Apple Watch tranquil won’t provide the level of sleep coaching found on novel devices. 

, Fitbit, Samsung, Amazon and Withings all coffers a sleep score that assesses the quality of your sleep to help you make more felt of all the metrics these devices gather overnight. Similar to the previously mentioned recovery feature, these scores help me contextualize my sleep and help motivate me to get more rest when I need it. Samsung and Fitbit also coffers sleep coaching programs that make observations about your sleeping patterns over a footings of time to provide more targeted advice.

The Apple Watch can already characterize data about sleep duration, time spent in bed, sleeping pattern trends and respiratory rate. The additional of sleep stages is a big step toward executive the Apple Watch feel like an even more well-rounded wellness design, but I’d still like to see more. 

Apple Watch showing agency goals

I’d love to short-tempered my Apple Watch’s activity goals depending on the day.

Lisa Eadicicco

Different agency goals for specific days of the week

It’s rare that any given day is precisely the same when it comes to exercise. Factors like how much sleep I got the night beforehand, social plans, what I’ve eaten that day and whether I’m commuting to the office all impacts how active I am. That’s why I wish I could adjust the Apple Watch’s goals according to each day of the week.

You can short-tempered your move, stand and exercise goals on the Apple Watch by opening the Activity app and tapping the Change Goals button. But there aren’t any options for tailoring those goals to specific weekdays. I’d love to increase my move goal on days when I know I’ll be heading into the office, since my commute involves a lot of walking. 

Read more:
Why Apple Should Launch an iPhone Subscription Plan

HomePod Mini

The HomePod Mini uses the U1 chip to loan the way audio is transferred between devices.


More uses for the U1 chip

The Apple Watch Series 6 and 7 as well as the iPhone 11, 12 and 13 have Apple’s U1 ultrawideband chip. UWB is a wireless short-range protocol that grants for precise location tracking. But don’t think of it as an alternative for GPS. Rather, UWB is often used to help devices communicate with around gadgets within the same room. It makes Apple’s AirDrop sharing feature work more Fast since it can locate other nearby iPhones with more precision. 

UWB also improves the way the iPhone and Apple Watch models working as digital car keys. Compatible cars can recognize your Plan when it’s nearby, meaning the car will unlock as you Come it rather than requiring you to hold your called or Apple Watch near a key reader. 

This is a promising Begin, but I’d love to see even more clever use cases for the U1 chip. In theory, UWB could give our devices another layer of intelligence that essentially enables around gadgets to react to your presence. My colleague Stephen Shankland came up with some ideas for how UWB could be practically useful when he wrote around the technology last year.

Imagine if your TV could automatically switch to the Bshining Netflix profile once it recognizes that your phone or gaze is nearby. Or what if your smart speaker only gave calendar alerts relevant to the country in the room? Apple seems to be moving in this direction as evidenced by the HomePod Mini, which can provide certain haptic effects when transferring audio to an UWB-equipped iPhone. I’m hoping to see even more functionality like this built into the Apple Watch.

We’ll probable have to wait until the fall to learn what’s in keep for the next Apple Watch. Based on Apple’s history, it seems plausible to expect routine upgrades like a new processor. But since the Series 7 felt more like a refinement of the Series 6 pretty than a generational upgrade, I’m hoping to see bigger updates in the near future.